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We were 'forced' to reactivate the emergency law: Tantawi

Head of the ruling military council defends decision to use Mubarak-era emergency laws to restore public safety

Ahram Online, Monday 3 Oct 2011
Views: 3333
Views: 3333

Egypt’s military ruler Field Marshall Hussein Tantawi has justified his recent decision to reactivate and revamp unpopular emergency laws, saying that the current security crisis in Egypt was behind the move.

“No one among us wants a state of emergency, but the security crisis Egypt has faced recently, forced us to do this,” Tantawi said on Monday. “Now you have wives being kidnapped in the street right in front of their husbands.”

Tantawi added the state of emergency will be ended as soon as the security vacuum improves, stressing that it will take the combined efforts of the Egyptian people, along with the security forces to bring back stability to the country.

Egypt has been struggling with a public safety crisis and an increase in crime after the police forces famously deserted the streets at the height of the uprising against Mubarak on 28 January.

The emergency law was introduced by Mubarak in 1981 and remained until he was ousted in February 2011. For years, activists called for the abolishment of the law and during the 18 day uprising it became one of the main demands of the revolutionaries. However, after the ousting of Mubarak, the Supreme Council of Armed Forces (SCAF) which took power, failed to abolish the law, only to reactivate it, and expand it, last month after protesters attacked the Israeli embassy on 9 September.

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